The Indian Railways have so far lost 2,600 of its employees, owing to Covid; while the total number of cases has crossed 1 lakh. The National Transporter has already vaccinated more than 6.50 lakh of its employees. The railways have also written a letter to the state governments, asking them vaccinate their employees in the age group of 18 to 44 years.
All through the pandemic the railways have remained operational. However not all their departments have been marked as frontline workers, claim the railway unions, who on June 7 worked wearing black armbands out of protest. Over the months now, the number of Covid cases is going up and so are the fatalities from Corona virus.
“Our 2,600 employees have lost lives due to Covid. We are doing everything possible to ensure that their families are taken care of by providing whatever benefits. We have also written to various state governments asking them to expedite the vaccination of our employees,” said Suneet Sharma, chairman and CEO, Railway Board.
Meanwhile, the railway authorities claim that the number of cases in the second wave has dropped. They are also setting up their own oxygen plants at railway hospitals. As part of their holistic plan, 86 oxygen plants across the country will be set up.
Venu Nair, leader, National Railway Mazdoor Union, said, “We have been demanding that all our railway employees be considered as frontline workers. Many have lost their lives, yet their vaccination isn’t being done on priority. We carried out a protest wearing black armbands which was then posted on social media”.